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No Need To Cruise Through Fayetteville

Posted by Ryne E. Hancock on September 22, 2007

One of the songs that play on a regular basis on my Zune player is one of smooth jazz saxophonist Kim Waters’ first radio singles “Cruisin'” from his first album, something that for all intents and purposes could be a great song to end a beautiful early autumn day in Memphis.

But when it comes to the aftermath of the Wildcats’ biggest win in 30 years against that school down Interstate 64, that song in the previous paragraph would not be something that needs to be in the Wildcats’ ears when they take on a Razorback squad that lost a nail-biter to the Tide last week in Tuscaloosa.

For the Wildcats, the quest to prove to the SEC that their moderate success in 2006, as well as their win over that school down the road, was no fluke starts tomorrow night in front of another National audience on television when they head to Fayetteville.

History has shown us, thanks to the fine people at NationalChamps.net, that in the years that the Wildcats won the modern-day rivalry against the Louisville Cardinals, they’ve managed to often lax in the following week.

When the rivalry was renewed in 1994 and the Wildcats defeated the Cardinals, the Wildcats would follow it up with a 73-7 blowout loss to the Florida Gators. As luck would have it, that win over the Cardinals was the only win mustered by the Wildcats in that season.

In 1997, the Wildcats would follow up a win against a very awful Louisville team under coach Ron Cooper that went 1-10 and lose the following week in their conference opener to a pretty good Mississippi State squad in Starkville 35-27.

Fact is, however, in the other two times that Kentucky beat the school down the road prior to last weekend, the following week they feasted on cheesecake opponents like UTEP in 2002 at home, beating them 77-17, and perennial OVC power Eastern Kentucky in 1998 52-7 in Lexington.

And neither team had an explosive running back like Darren McFadden or Felix Jones that could cut and dice the defense like a butcher that crafts the perfect slices of meat.

Nor was there a defense that finished 7th in the conference and 36th Nationally the season before that that could put an end to one of the most remarkable records in college football history.

Conventional wisdom would say to us that the Wildcats, with their explosive offensive attack led by Andre Woodson and wide receiver Keenan Burton, could actually win the game, the same attack that made Louisville’s defense look sadder than a sharp-dressed bum denied change from a tourist in Downtown Memphis.

That is, if the suspect defense doesn’t take a field trip and head down to Hot Springs, only to realize that they’re miles away from the warm and relaxing bathhouses and sparkling spring water.

With a #21 ranking and still a bevy of doubters out in the college football world, the time is now for the Wildcats.

That is, if they don’t find themselves cruising along for the ride.

And it’s not to the sounds of Kim Waters either.

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